Thursday, February 13, 2020

Review of "Playoff Dreams," by Fred Bowen

Review of

Playoff Dreams, by Fred Bowen ISBN 9781561455072

Five out of five stars

 The standard mold of the classic book of adolescent sports fiction is that the main character is a player on a team that struggles early, rights itself and then plays and wins the big game at the end. Furthermore, girls other than mothers are at best an afterthought in the plot, contributing little to nothing to the power of the story.

 That is not the case in the books by Fred Bowen, in this one about baseball, there are female players on the team, and they are good hitters and fielders. Furthermore, there is no winning of the big game at the end, pointing out that in any sports league with a championship, only one team can win its last game. Everyone else must walk away as a member of a losing team.

 Brendan is a very good player, one of the best in the league. He is a great hitter and a superb fielder in center field. Yet, his team is not doing well, and he feels that he must “take over,” even though that is impossible in baseball. With the help of his uncle and Cubs fan Jack, Brendan learns that it is often the case that great players never get to be a member of a championship team.

 I really enjoyed the references to Cub great Ernie Banks, an all-time figurative champion to all people that know baseball. His joy at being able to play baseball is an inspiration to all who play games for fun or money.

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